I am writing this between fevers and yes, I am always amazed over the clarity that sweeps in at this time. Probably because I know this window is shortlived. The ‘flu is like that. One has to go through the process before healing begins.
For the past four days, I’ve been off the “grid” as I know it. While I’d normally fret over checking emails, meeting work deadlines and all sorts of other worries, this time I just let it flow. The weather contributed to the ennui by alternating between being wet and pouring in torrents. Since my husband and I were both down with the flu we did not venture outside and instead chose to simply lay down and rest, taking our medication, eating when we could and turning the television on for company. Neither of us could keep our eyes open for long and neither could speak thanks to a throat infection.
I am sitting up today. I have my eyes open. I know I’ll get into bed when I feel the fever coming, but until then, I am at peace.
So, as part of MondayMusings, I’d like to share with you a lovely mindfulness practice from the book “Peace is every step – the path of mindfulness in everyday life” by Thich Nhat Hanh.
I am not sure if I am a spiritual person, but I do know I love simple mindfulness practices; if there’s one thing I believe in, it is living in the present moment.
Today I’d like to share “Hugging Meditation” with you.
Don’t you love the sound of that? We all enjoy ending our conversations with “hugs!”. I know I do! There’s something wonderful about holding a person close with warmth and affection.
Thich Nhat Hanh says, “ When you hold a child in your arms, or hug your mother, or your husband, or your friend, if you breathe in and out three times, your happiness will be multiplied at least tenfold.”
Being distracted takes away the depth of the hug and becomes a fleeting routine.
Here’s how to truly enjoy hugging meditation:
First, breathe in and out consciously and allow yourself to focus on the present moment. Be present.
Then, when you hug your child/spouse/friend, breathe in and out thrice, again, consciously. You will enjoy it better.
Of course not everyone is comfortable hugging like this – in fact, one of my closest friends laughingly resists with her arm held out in front of her. Not that we do not hug or anything, but she will never be the one to initiate it!
My best friend, however, is a different type of hugger. She holds me close, inhales, then gently leans in and rests her cheek on my head – hey, she’s tall! And we just meld for those few moments, breathing.
There’s a lot to be said about breathing, besides being essential for living, of course. Conscious breathing unites the body and mind and awakens your appreciation of everything related to that moment. It is almost mesmerising in a nice way.
Alternately, doing things absentmindedly? Not the same thing. Why, you may not even remember the moment, much as you try.
So, open your arms, open your heart, receive love.
When I think of hugging meditation, my mind is filled with all sorts of happy feelings – probably because of think of hugging all the people I love.
Try it and tell me what you think.
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